WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder today met with Defending Childhood representatives from eight communities across the country to discuss local efforts to address children’s exposure to violence. The week-long Defending Childhood meeting brought together the initiative’s eight demonstration sites for a series of presentations, peer-to-peer exchanges and dialogue with Justice Department leadership. Attorney General Eric Holder, Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli and department officials discussed the initiative with representatives and their ongoing efforts in their communities.
“I am grateful for this opportunity to discuss our shared goals – and your front-line efforts – to prevent, reduce, and combat childhood exposure to violence,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “The issue of children’s exposure to violence has been both a personal and professional concern for decades. As our nation’s Attorney General, and as a parent of three young children, addressing this crisis – and implementing bold, innovative, and collaborative solutions – is a top priority.”
Attorney General Holder launched Defending Childhood to focus on addressing children’s exposure to violence. A key component of the initiative is a multi-year demonstration program. This included Justice Department funding for eight demonstration sites to develop and implement multi-disciplinary plans that specifically address prevention, intervention, treatment and response strategies to address children’s exposure to violence.
The eight sites are:
· City of Boston ($160,000)
· City of Portland , Maine ($160,000)
· Chippewa Cree Tribe, Mont. ($153,210)
· City of Grand Forks , N.D. ($159,967)
· Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners, Ohio ($157,873)
· Multnomah County Department of Human Services, Ore. ($159,349)
· Rosebud Sioux Tribe, S.D. ($159,534)
· Shelby County, Tenn. ($159,099)
The goals of the initiative are to prevent children’s exposure to violence as victims and witnesses, mitigate the negative effects experienced by children exposed to violence and develop knowledge about and increase awareness of this issue. More information about this initiative can be found at: www.justice.gov/ag/defendingchildhood/ .